Monday, August 18, 2014

5 Etiquette Tips to Create a Good Relationship with Your Child's Teacher

Strive to be a good role model in etiquette for your child - "Although character education is a hot topic in schools across the nation, education in manners generally receives scant attention. With growing demands on teaching time, etiquette is rarely a priority. But it might be a mistake to ignore the adage that actions speak louder than words." From Education World, 2010
Now that the children have made the adjustment back into school mode, begin to develop a good working relationship with your child’s teacher.  You are both team players working for the best interest of your child.  Being adversarial only aggravates the situation and your child will suffer from either embarrassment or not getting the help he/she really requires.  The following tips will assist you towards making a good impression.

1. Make a polite effort to open up the lines of communication – If possible, have a face to face introduction with the teacher and your child even before the school schedules a “Meet n’ Greet”.  Exchange email addresses to express any concerns that may develop.  Teachers may give out their home phone numbers to schedule a phone conversation. Please don’t abuse this privilege by telephoning about unimportant topics. Remember that your child is just one of many that makes up a classroom, and the teacher has limited free time available.

2. Respect the parent/teacher conference schedule – Arrive on time and use your alloted time wisely. Your child’s teacher often has more than 25 students in a class, and their families to interview as well. If you will be late for some reason, contact the teacher to reschedule. He/she may not be able to stay longer at the school to accommodate you.
"In 1999, 73% of Americans in an ABC News/World News Tonight poll thought manners were worse than 20 or 30 years ago. Respondents primarily placed the blame on inadequate parenting. They also cited movies and television shows that encouraged children to be less respectful of others. Under those circumstances, it's no surprise that manner illiteracy is rampant in classrooms from coast to coast." From Education World, 2010
3. Don’t place unrealistic expectations on the teacher 
 If your child seems bored or gifted, asking for extra work or special treatment may be unfair until yearly testing is done.  However, if your child has issues like allergies, behavioural problems, or a learning disability, the school needs to know and will make every effort to accommodate his/her needs.
The fine points of acceptable manners will vary slightly from place to place and from decade to decade. Experts agree however, that behavior based on respect is still the ultimate goal. Sadly, too many adults are exhibiting less civility toward one another, and children are unfortunately following suit with their peers and teachers in the classroom, and at school.
4. Reduce chaos in your child's morning – Preparing the night before will make the morning rush less chaotic. Set a structure for your child to follow. Help your child to be prepared each day with lunch made, homework completed and clean clothes to wear.  

Punctuality is polite – Be punctual for school. Ten minutes before the first bell. This is a good life lesson for your child as it shows respect for people’s time.  Tardy children disrupt their classmates and the teacher in the middle of instructing.  If your child will be late arriving by bus or absent from school, please let the school know in a timely manner.

Working together will mean the greatest success for your child.  Be open to the observations that your child’s teacher may reveal to you in areas of socialisation as well as scholastics that may assist your child.  Keeping a positive outlook will mean a terrific school year for you, your child and your child’s teacher.

By Canadian Contributor Maria Doll ~ An etiquette coach, Maria has been conducting personal consultations, workshops, camps and seminars for children, teens and young adults since 2009.  Her etiquette program and company Leadership Matters has been featured in print, radio & television media. 

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